BJP president Nitin Gadkari has high hopes from the Uttar Pradesh elections. He anticipates a victory in UP in the line with Bihar assembly results in 2010. Although he is not at ease with the Kushwaha chapter, Gadkari opines that the episode will not damage to his party.

He also believes that the question of chief ministerial candidate is worthless until and unless the poll results are declared.

Excerpts: 

After three phases of polling in the state how do you assess party’s position?


We are performing better than expected. The increase in poll percentage and anti-incumbency against the BSP are in favour of the BJP.

But the survey reflects a different picture?

These surveys are based on previous election but now the ground realities have changed. The people at that time had voted against lawlessness in the state and now they are voting to dislodge the corrupt government.

How many seats will the BJP win?

Initially we had expected to win at least 140-145 seats. But, now the equation is clearly changing in favour of the BJP. The Backward Classes and the Extremely Backward Classes which had moved away from the party due to the Ayodhya temple issue have reposed faith in us.

How much the Kushwaha episode and factionalism within the party have dented the poll prospect of the saffron party?

Where has the Kushwaha episode damaged the party? Firstly, he is no longer a member of the BJP and secondly, the poll results will decide whether the episode has caused us any damage or not. We have managed to take the Backward Classes into confidence over the quota issue raked up by the Congress.

Why hasn’t the BJP solved the issue of CM candidate?

Contesting elections under a collective leadership is a political decision. Therefore, the poll battle is being fought under the leadership of Rajnath Singh, Uma Bharati, Kalraj Mishra and Surya Pratap Sahi. Only after the poll results are out a decision will be taken in this regard.

What is the reason behind the delayed decision of bringing Uma Bharati into UP politics?


BJP does not indulge in dynastic politics. Therefore a collective decision may take some time. Now Uma will continuously active in UP politics as the BJP is reaping benefit out of her presence there.

Candidates could not be decided on the basis of a survey conducted by the BJP. Will this cause any damage to the party?


Precautions were taken while fielding candidates. Internal survey conducted by party organisation was made criteria in ticket distribution. Several leaders who had come from different parties were given tickets in order to insure victory as forming the government depends on the number of elected MLAs. Maximum numbers of candidates fielded by the BJP have a clean image.

The BJP has been alleged of raking up the hindutva issue in the backdrop of quota row?

Protesting the minority reservation should not be viewed as politicization of the issue. The Congress in the garb of reservation to minorities is trying to tamper with the basic structure of the constitution.  We will not let this happen.

The absence of Narendra Modi from UP polls campaign has given rise to many questions?


Modi could not attend campaign in UP as he was busy with other programmes in Gujarat.

How do you view Digvijay Singh’s statement about ‘President Rule’ in the state?

By doing this he is highlighting the weaknesses of his own party. The SP and the Congress is reeling under the fear of the BJP coming to power therefore they are making such statements.

In case the BJP fails to get a majority, what will be your next step?

The party will not form alliance with either SP or BSP.

(JPN/ Bureau)